An Early Look at CAR/BUF
0 Reply | 634 ViewsOn 10/14/2011 09:41 AM in NHL
I like Buffalo to win their home opener tonight but probably not at -175, -180. The Sabres are just one of a number of good teams in the stacked East, coming off of two impressive wins over a solid Ducks teams in Europe. They will be facing a jacked-up crowd with high expectations after last season's promising finish and the offseason free agent purge. But they've had nearly a week to mull over their 2-0 start and will be facing a Carolina team coming off a hard fought victory against the defending champion Bruins. The 'Canes are going with youth as they ask Jeff Skinner and Jamie McBain to take another step forward in their second seasons. Eric Staal has 3 points thus far (2G) and he needs to be consistently elite all year for Carolina to contend for the postseason. The 'Canes made some shrewd additions of their own this summer, adding Alex Ponikarovsky and Anthony Stewart to beef up the wings, while bringing aboard Tomas Kaberle to add experience to the blue line. This looks like a tough one to call; in his last 3 starts in Buffalo, Cam Ward is 2-1/1.02GAA, while Ryan Miller has gone 6-3-0 in his last 9 with a 1.69GAA (2G or less in all but 1). Hard to take an under in a home opener, especially with all the offense on the ice and a jacked up home crowd, but that's just what I'm leaning towards at this point. Picks later.